Unsolved Murders

Guinstina Benedetta Macari

Age: 3

Sex: female

Date: 18 May 1941

Place: Blaen-y-Maes Fforest Fach, Swansea

Source: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Guinstina Benedetta Macari was found dead in a plantation.

She had been suffocated and sexually assaulted.

Although she was three years and six months old she was said to have looked more like five.

A 47-year-old man was tried but acquitted.

Guinstina Macari lived with her mother and father at 8 Dillwyn Street in Swansea where her father ran a fish restaurant of a working-class type. She had a younger 2-year-old brother and two newly-born twin brothers. Her father was a British born subject of Italian origin.

Guinstina Macari was generally known as Christina and was born on 22 November 1937.

She was a well-developed child, so much so that she was generally taken to be about five years of age. she was given to roaming a lot and was well known to the bus conductors of the bus routes in the immediate vicinity of her home owing to her fondness of jumping on to buses to get rides. She was also noted for playing about in the shop a good deal and talked freely to customers and was friendly to any man that spoke to her.

On the Saturday, 17 May 1941, Guinstina Macari got up at about 8.30am and had breakfast just after 9am which consisted of a fried egg, tea and bread, after which she went out into the street to play with other children.

The day was sunny and warm was was in fact the first fine day that they had had in Swansea for a considerable time.

Her father stated that at about 12.30pm Guinstina Macari came into the house and went upstairs to her mother who was ill in bed and then went out again and that that was the last time he saw her alive.

He said that she was dressed in a white vest, white bodice, blue knickers, a pink artificial silk petticoat, a blue frock a green jumper, a white pinafore, black shoes and green ankle socks.

A 15-year-old girl who worked at the shop and who lived in Gwynedd Avenue in Townhill Swansea said that she left home at about 12.50pm to go to the fish restaurant accompanied by her 13-year-old brother. She said that on the way they went down Mount Pleasant and at about 1pm they saw Guinstina Macari walking up Mount Pleasant. She said that Guinstina Macari laughed at her but that when she spoke to her Guinstina Macari ran away and then ran up to the side of a man and that Guinstina Macari and the man walked up the hill together. The girl said that she told her brother who Guinstina Macari was and said that she assumed that the man was a relative of hers. The girl said that she continued down Mount Pleasant and looked back once and saw Guinstina Macari still by the side of the man walking up the hill.

The girl said that after leaving Mount Pleasant she went to do some shopping and arrived at the fish restaurant at about 2.10pm. She said that she told Guinstina Macari's father that she had seen Guinstina Macari with a man in Mount Pleasant and they sent her away to try to find her. Shortly after Guinstina Macari's father went to the vicinity to look and he could not find Guinstina Macari and at 2.45pm he went to the police and reported the matter.

The police then organised an immediate search around the district of Mount Pleasant which continued into the following day but with no result.

On the afternoon of 18 May 1941, a 13-year-old boy who had been staying with his aunt at Blaen-y-maes Farm in Fforestfach, Swansea, went out with a friend to a rhododendron plantation about 150 yards from Blaen-y-maes Farm to look for empty bottles there. The plantation itself was about five miles from Swansea and in open country and was a favourite place for courting couples from Swansea who would often bring bottles of refreshments along with them. When they got there, the boys friend went down to a stream near the plantation whilst the boy went into the undergrowth of the rhododendron bushes and whilst crawling about in there, he saw Guinstina Macari lying face downwards. He said that he didn't touch her but went back to get his friend and they had another look at her and then they went back to the farmhouse and told the farmer who then informed the police. The boy said that it was about 2.15pm that he found Guinstina Macari.

The police received news of the finding of Guinstina Macari's body at 3.05pm on 18 May 1941 and immediately went there. When they got there, they found that Guinstina Macari was lying with her head facing the roadway leading towards Blaen-y-maes Farm and her feet pointing towards the brook. She was lying on her left side with her right arm bent and her left arm under her body. Her face was hidden in the undergrowth and lying on the left side. She was dressed in a white pinafore, green jersey, blue frock, petticoat, bodice, vest, and pair of knickers and light green socks. She was wearing a black shoe on her left foot, and the other shoe was found about four yards away, suspended from a branch of a rhododendron bush about two feet from the ground. She had a blue pair of knickers that had been pulled down over her knees. The police said that when they examined her knickers, they found that they had been torn down the centre in the front. They otherwise noted that Guinstina Macari had been dressed exactly as her father had described.

When they examined the scene, they found the ground in the plantation was hard and dry and no marks of any struggle were found.

A post-mortem was carried out on 19 May 1941 at 3pm and it was concluded that Guinstina Macari's death was not natural and that it was thought that she had died from asphyxia due to suffocation. It was said that closure of her external air passages was due either to something being pressed down on Guinstina Macari's face as she lay on her back, or by her face being pressed down into some obstruction as she lay on her front.

When a doctor that was involved in the post-mortem examined the place where Guinstina Macari's body was found he said that in view of the absence of abrasions in the region of her face that he did not think that Guinstina Macari had been murdered at the scene. He said that if she had been killed at the place where she was found he would have thought that the soft leaves, twigs and harder structures there would have left abrasions on Guinstina Macari's face.

The doctors that carried out the post-mortem stated that based on the condition of rigor-mortis when first seen that they thought that Guinstina Macari had died on the Saturday evening, 17 May 1941, at about 7pm although they said that they could not be definite about that and said that it was quite probable that Guinstina Macari could have died two hours earlier.

When Guinstina Macari's private parts were examined no abrasions were found in the area of the vulva, or any bruising of the superficial or deeper tissues. However, they found that her hymen was ruptured and torn and had a tag hanging from the posterior quadrant and that a forefinger could be passed into the vaginal canal. A small superficial bruise was found at the hymenal ring at the base of the structure where it joined the vaginal walls. The vagina itself was uninjured and there was no blood found in the upper parts of the canal. Slides were taken of the vulva and vagina, but no seminal material or sperms were found on them.

The doctors concluded that in the absence of damage other than to the hymen that in all probability her injury had not been done with an adult male organ, and that it was more probably caused with a finger.

It was noted that apart from the injury to her hymen, that the only other mark of external violence was a bruise on her left flank, just above the crest of her hip bone.

When the doctors examined Guinstina Macari's stomach they found a considerable amount of food in her stomach which it was reported did not coincide with the breakfast that she had had between 8.30am and 9am on 17 May 1941, of fried egg, bread and tea. After examination of the contents, the doctors concluded that it was possible that Guinstina Macari had eaten one or other of the following after her breakfast:

  • Chocolate and ice cream.
  • A chocolate ice cream.
  • A chocolate coated ice cream.

It was also reported that amongst other things found in her stomach were pieces of plain paper. A considerable number of pieces of paper were found, with the largest piece measuring approximately 1 1/4 square inches.

The doctor said that in his opinion Guinstina Macari had been eating food within two hours of her death.

A piece of leaf was also found in Guinstina Macari's trachea, but it had decayed too much to be identifiable.

Guinstina Macari was also found to have had small pieces of vegetation adherent to her face and lips.

When the police carried out their murder inquiry, they found that three other people, other than the 15-year-old girl that worked at the shop and her younger brother had seen the man walking off with Guinstina Macari. They were a bootmaker, a farm labourer and a farm bailiff.

The bootmaker was a 45-year-old man from Heathfield Road in Swansea. He said that he had been walking up Mount Pleasant on his way home from work at 1.05pm on 17 May 1941 when he saw  a man ahead of him walking in the same direction and followed closely by a little girl who he said was panting and out of breath. It was noted that Mount Pleasant was a very steep hill. He said that every now and again the little girl gave a little run to catch up with the man. He said that the little girl had something in his hand. He said that what made him notice the man and the little girl was that the man was not making any effort to assist the child up the hill and he said that he considered speaking to the man about it. He said that he then overtook the child, and then the man, and that as he turned off to go down a side street that he took a good look at the man.

He described the man as being between 40 to 45 years of age, about 5ft 10in tall, with a slight build and walking with a slight stoop. He said the man had a dark coloured cap that he wore fairly straight on his head and had darkish hair that was long at the back. He said that the man had something white about his throat which he thought might have been a white shirt front and had been wearing a lounge suit of greenish material which was soiled and a jacket, that from his observation, appeared to be short. He said that the man's trousers were of the same material as the jacket and were shiny in the seat and noted that there were no turn-ups at the bottom. The bootmaker said that the man had been wearing black footwear that was badly down at the heels and that he swung his arms when he walked.

The farm labourer that saw the man and Guinstina Macari together said that on the morning of 17 May 1941 he was working in a field just off the Mynyddbewydd Road in Fforestfach when he just happened to look over a hedge and saw a man carrying a child in his arms. He said that the man seemed undecided whether to walk along the road to Pemplas Farm or towards the Mynyddnewydd Colliery which was in the opposite direction. It was noted that the spot where the farm labourer saw the man and child was about four miles from Mount Pleasant and uphill all the way. The farm labourer said that he thought that it was possibly between 3pm and 3.30pm when he saw the man and child, but it was noted that he was a bit vague about the time.

The farm labourer described the man as being aged about 35 to 40 years, between 5ft 7in and 5ft 8 1/2in tall, with a good build, dark hair, believed to be clean shaven and with a dark complexion and full face. He said that the man was dressed in a dark suit, dark grey cap and a dark muffler the ends of which were tucked underneath some braces. He said that he thought the man looked like a seaman.

The farm bailiff who said that he saw the man with Guinstina Macari said that he had been riding a horse and leading another horse from his farm, Pemplas Farm in Fforestfach, down the road towards Caereithin when just at a spot on the road about 70 yards from where the farm labourer saw the man carrying a child, he saw a man with a child. He said that he saw a man walking towards a gate in the hedge with a little girl about five yards behind. He said that the man looked up at him and walked back towards the child and talked to her. He said that after speaking to the child the man walked towards him and the child followed him reluctantly. He said that just as the man was about to pass him, a lorry passed and the horse that he was riding became restive. He said that after quietening his horse he looked around and saw the man and child walking along the grass verge at the side of the road towards Pemplas Farm.

The farm bailiff described the man as being between 35 and 40 years old, 5ft 7in tall, with a medium build, dark hair, sallow or pasty complexion, fairly long features, believed to have sidelocks, dressed in a dark suit, brown cap, heavy tweed-ish material, with a white artificial silk muffler worn in a half-hitch manner. He said that he appeared to be of the hawker class.

The police report noted that whilst the farm labourer and the farm bailiff both said that they saw a man and a child at places 70 yards apart from each other, they did not agree as far as times were concerned. It was stated that when questioned, they both stated that they had not had watches and that the times they gave were rough estimates.

The place where the farm labourer and farm bailiff both saw the man and child was about half-a-mile over the fields to the plantation where Guinstina Macari's body was later found.

On 20 May 1941 the police showed the farm bailiff 21 photographs, one of which included a tramp who had twice been charged with murder in Wales, the first occasion being in 1928 when he was acquitted, and the second being in 1932 when he was convicted of manslaughter, the farm bailiff picked out the tramp as resembling very much the man that he had seen with the child. The police report noted that the tramp was known to tramp with his wife and was well-known to the police of the various Welsh counties and towns and the tramp was found the same day, 20 May 1941, at Carmarthen, and on 21 May 1941 the farm bailiff was taken to Carmarthen to identify him. In the meantime, the tramp was interrogated about his movements on 17 May 1941 and a statement was taken from him in which he declared that he had spent the whole day, up until about 6pm in Llanelly before leaving.

At the identification parade the farm bailiff identified the tramp as the man that he had seen, and so the tramp was taken to Swansea where he was put up for identification at 5.30pm and identified as the man by the farm labourer. However, the bootmaker picked out another man as did the younger 13-year-old brother of the girl that had been the first to see Guinstina Macari walking up Mount Pleasant on her way to the shops and work. It was noted that the girl had not taken part in the identification parade as she had been missing from home.

Meanwhile, during the identification parades, the police received further information regarding the tramp stating that he had been seen in Llanelly during the afternoon of 17 May 1941, about the time that the farm labourer and the farm bailiff had said they had seen the man and the child on Mynyddnewydd Road in Fforestfach. After the second identification parade in Swansea, the police went off to Llanelly to speak to a 50-year-old man who was an inmate of the Llanelly Public Assistance Institution who told them that from 3pm to 5pm on 17 May 1941 that he had been allowed out of the institution and had been walking around Llanelly and saw the tramp, who he said was accompanied by his wife, on two occasions saying that the first occasion was at about 4.30pm and the second was a few minutes later. He further noted that when he returned to the institution that he mentioned to the porter there that he had seen the tramp.

When the police went back to Swansea, they asked the tramp if he had seen anybody in Llanelly on the afternoon of 17 May 1941 and he remembered that he had seen the inmate twice between 3pm and 5pm.

The police report noted that Llanelly was about 9 miles from Fforestfach and the it became apparent that the tramp could not have been concerned with the murder of Guinstina Macari and he was released.

Following the release of the tramp, the Chief Constable of Swansea Borough Police requested the assistance of Scotland Yard and detectives from Scotland Yard were put on the case with effect from 12.41pm on 22 May 1941 and left for Swansea that afternoon, arriving at 11.15pm.

Immediately after the detectives from Scotland Yard arrived in Swansea they caused an appeal to be made in local newspapers and cinemas, etc as well as churches and pulpits giving the general description of the man seen with the child and as a result on Sunday 25 May 1941 a grocer that carried on a fruit and greengrocers stall at Swansea market called at Swansea Police Station. He was 42 years old and lived at 57 Mount Pleasant in Swansea and said that at about 1.50pm on 17 May 1941 he had left his stall to go home to dinner. He said that he called at the Albion Hotel on the way to have a drink and then left the public house by car at 2.05pm arriving home about five minutes later at 2.10pm. He said that as his dinner was not ready, he went out into his front garden to have a look at his onions. It was noted that his house was on the corner formed by Mount Pleasant and Stanley Terrace and that his front garden overlooked the roadway of Mount Pleasant and also over to the other side of the road, about 30 feet away, a little north of his garden, to a public bench. He said that when he went into his garden, he happened to look across the road and saw a man sitting on the bench. He said that he then saw the man stand up and beckon to someone with his left hand and that when he looked to see who he was signalling to he saw a little girl who was then half way across the road coming from the direction of a sweet shop higher up the hill on his side. He said that the child then ran towards the man and then stopped at the kerb and that the man then sat down again. The grocer said that he then had another look at his onions and that when he looked across the road five minutes later, he saw that the man and the child had gone.

The grocer described the man as being in his early forties, about 5ft 7in tall, of medium build, with rather a long face, a long nose and a rather square long chin, clean shaven and with a rather sallow complexion. He said that the man had been dressed in a navy-blue coloured suit and wearing a cap of dark greyish material. He said that he also noticed that the man's hair was bushy at the back below his cap. He said that the man had black footwear and either a white collar or muffler round his neck. He said that the man had the general appearance of a working-class man.

The police report stated that as a result of their appeal from the pulpits that a 60-year-old woman came forward who lived in Walter Road, Swansea and said that she had seen a man walking off with a little girl. She said that at about 12.30pm on 17 May 1941 she left her house to do some shopping. She said that at about 12.40pm when she was in Dillwyn Street, she stopped outside the fish restaurant run by Guinstina Macari's father. She said that she then walked towards Singleton Street and outside the premises adjoining the fish restaurant, she saw a little girl and a boy playing with some sand. However, she said that she also noticed a man standing by the wall near the little boy and the girl. She said that he was stooping down and appeared to be either showing something to the children or playing with them. She said that she was on the point of speaking to the little girl when she ran past her and entered the fish restaurant whilst at the same time calling something to the little boy which she didn't hear. Whilst she said that she didn't hear what the little girl had actually said, she said that she noted that she had a peculiar voice. She said that she believed that the man then moved away and waited at the junction of Dillwyn Street and Oxford Street and stood near the traffic lights there.

The woman said that she then carried on along to do her shopping and that shortly afterwards she returned along Dillwyn Street and turned into St Helen's Road by which time it was about 12.55pm or 1pm. She said then, that whilst passing Lovell's Cafe in St Helen's Road, that she heard a little girl's voice which she recognised as being the voice of the girl that she had seen earlier in Dillwyn Street. She said that the next thing she saw was the little girl and the same man she had seen previously, walking from the direction of the cafe towards the YMCA building. She said that just before leaving the pavement to cross the road she saw the man bend down and speak to the girl. She said that the little girl had something that appeared to be long sweets or toffees in her right hand. She said that the man then caught hold of her left hand. She added that at the time she thought that the little girl was telling the man that she wanted to go home. She said then that she saw the man catch hold of the other girl’s hand, firmly, and that they disappeared from her view amongst a crowd of people.

The woman described the man as being aged about 30 to 35 years old, between 5ft 6in to 5ft 7in tall, and with what she believed was dark hair that was long at the back. She said that he had a very pale complexion and appeared to be dirty looking and in need of a wash. She added that he stooped and swung his arms in what she described as an ape like manner. She said that he had been dressed in a dark grey mixture tweed overcoat that was well worn and that didn't fit him. She said that his general appearance was that of a foreigner and that he appeared to be a mental defective.

The police stated that during that part of the investigation, extensive enquiries were being carried out in all directions, including house-to-house enquiries, and enquiries on all routes from Dillwyn Street to Fforestfach via Mount Pleasant, to ascertain if any other persons had seen Guinstina Macari with the man, or if any person had noticed a man answering the description of the suspect travelling alone from the direction of Fforestfach. The police noted that they had also enquired at all sweet shops in the area and took samples of sweet paper bags used by them and bought samples of the chocolate and sweetmeats that they sold and sent them off for analysis.

The police report stated that as far as the house-to-house enquiries were concerned, the only information that appeared to be of any interest was from a 31-year-old woman that had resided at 60 Inkerman Street in Swansea and had been employed as an assistant at a confectionery shop at 222 Carmarthen Road in Swansea. She said that between 2.30pm and 3.45pm on 17 May 1941, a man came into the shop and asked for chocolate. She said that she told him that she only had chocolate macaroons and offered him one. She said that he then asked her for two and said that on being told that only one was supplied to each person, he mumbled something about a child and so she gave him two.

She described the man as being aged between 40 and 45 years of age, between 5ft 8in and 5ft 9in tall, with a slight build, a narrow face, a long pointed nose, a sallow and dirty face that was heavily lined from the sides of his nose to the sides of his mouth and thick lipped with a sagging mouth. She said that he had been wearing a dark belted overcoat in moderate condition, a white muffler that was hanging at the sides of his neck and which revealed a white collar and dark tie. She added that he had been wearing a dark grey trilby hat that had been pulled down back and front and was well worn. She said that his trousers were of a lighter colour than his overcoat and that she believed that they had turnups and that the bottom of the right leg was frayed.

The police report stated that there was only one other person that they found who could tell them anything likely to be of any assistance and that was a 65-year-old man who had lived at 7 Penlan Terrace in Trboath, Swansea and who was engaged as a fire-spotter at the Mynyddnewydd Colliery in Fforestfach which was about half a mile away from where Guinstina Macari was found dead.

He said that at about 8.50pm on 17 May 1941, he had left home to go to the colliery and said that the route he took went past Peplas Farm and over the fields to a pathway that lead off to the colliery. It was noted that Pemplas Farm was on the Mynyddnewydd Road and not far from the place where the farm labourer and farm bailiff had both stated they had seen the man and child. The fire-spotter said that as he left the last field of Pemplas Farm and was going on to the pathway that led off to the colliery, he noticed a man walking towards him, coming from the woods on his left. He said that the man was walking slowly and aimlessly and that as he drew level with the man he turned away from him at which point he greeted him with a 'good-night' in Welsh which he said the man did not acknowledge and continued on towards Pemplas Farm. The fire-spotter said that he then looked at his watch to find out whether he would arrive at the colliery at 10 o'clock and said that the watch showed the time to be exactly 9.30pm.

When the fire-spotter described the man, he said that he could not estimate his age, but said that he had been about 5ft 8in tall with a medium build and long hair that was turning grey. He said that he was dressed in a dark overcoat and had a dark cap, a white muffler that showed about an inch above the collar of his coat and dark coloured trousers that were wide at the bottom.

The police report noted that in addition to the enquiries already described, that they had also engaged in tracing and interrogating mental defectives and men either convicted or known to have indecent tendencies, and that amongst those men they identified the man that they later tried for Guinstina Macari's murder, but who was acquitted.

The man was 47 years of age and was last known to have lived at 10 Argyle Street in Swansea and he was known to have had eighteen convictions for crime including two convictions for indecent assault in 1912 and 1913.

It was noted that the 1912 conviction referred to an indecent assault on a married woman but that the 1913 conviction referred to an indecent assault on an 8-year-old girl who had gone into a field to pick blackberries. It was heard that the man, who was 19-years-old at the time had followed her, and then dragged her behind some bushes and then torn her knickers to pieces and attempted to criminally assault her.

The man was ascertained to have been working in the Swansea Post Office as a temporary postman. When the police went to see one of the senior officials at Swansea Post Office on 30 May 1941, they found out that the man had only started working at the Post Office on 19 May 1941. When they informed the senior official, confidentially, of the man's record, his services were dispensed with that afternoon. The police said that they also found out that the man was living at 20 Nicholl Street in Swansea.

The detectives then gave instructions to the Swansea CID to bring the man to the Police Station on the morning of 31 May 1941 to be interrogated as he appeared to answer the description of the wanted man. The man was seen by a policeman that knew him in Alexandra Road in Swansea, quite near to the Police Station, at about 11.45am Saturday 31 May 1941. The policeman said to him, 'They want to see you at the Central Police Station'. The man then asked 'What for?' and the policeman replied, 'They'll tell you when they see you'.

When the man arrived at the police station he gave his name, said he was 46 years old and that he was living with his wife at 20 Nicholl Street. He said that he had been out of work until 19 May 1941 and had then worked at the post office until 30 May 1941. The detective said he asked him if he knew Fforestfachg and the man replied, 'I've never been there'. When he was asked what he had been doing on 17 May 1941, two Saturdays previously, he said, 'I went shopping in the morning. My wife is working for the doctor in St. Helen's Road. I came home about 12 noon and stayed indoors listening to the wireless. I think the programme was the Cup Final. After the news at six o'clock I got dressed and went out with my wife. We went down the St Helen's Road looking at the advertisements. We are looking for new rooms. My wife was washing a shirt in the afternoon'.

It was noted that when the man had come to the police station, he had been dressed in a brown mixture suit, light brown trilby hat, a soft collar and tie and black shoes. The detective asked the man if he had any other suits and the man replied, 'I've got an old blue serge suit but I don't wear it out of doors'.

At that Tim the police asked the man to wait outside the room in the passage for a moment, the reason being was that he answered the description of the man they were looking for in general and they wanted to discuss arrangements for certain enquiries to be made whilst they were holding him at the police station. The report noted that the police had about half a dozen under suspicion at that point and regarded the man as just another possible suspect. The police said that after discussing the arrangements for about a minute and deciding their line of action they went back out in the passageway to call him back into the office but found that he had disappeared. A police sergeant was immediately directed to go and find him. That happened at about 12 noon.

The sergeant went to 20 Nicholl Street where he was admitted by the man's wife. When he went in, he saw the man's brown felt hat which he had been wearing at the police station on a settee in the kitchen. The police sergeant said that he asked the man's wife where the man was and said that she told him that he was upstairs and went up to fetch him down but when she came back down, she said that he wasn't there. The police sergeant then searched the house but found that the man was not there. The sergeant then left the house and took up observation in a motor car about 50 yards away from the house.

Later, at about 1.10pm, the police sergeant saw the man enter Nicholl Street from Walter Road hatless and go to 20 Nicholl Street and open the door with a key and go in. The police sergeant then left his car and knocked at the door of 20 Nicholl Street and the door was opened by the man's wife who said that the man was not there. The police sergeant then rushed in and searched the house, searching each room, the back garden and an air raid shelter but without any luck. At that point a plain clothes Police War Reserve officer was placed in observation in the street outside the house.

The police sergeant said that he then heard a shout and when he went out the plain clothes Police War Reserve officer told him that he had seen somebody's head over a wall at the side of 17 Nicholl Street. The police sergeant then went into an alleyway at the side of 17 Nicholl Street which was three buildings removed from 20 Nicholl Street and found the man hiding behind a wooden door in the alleyway.

The police sergeant said that when he asked the man why he had run away, the man replied, 'I am innocent'. He was then taken back to his house where he was told to put on his old blue suit that the police sergeant found in the kitchen. The detective was then called at 1.30pm and went to the house where he saw the man and then told him to change his clothes. The man was then taken back to the police station and the police took possession of the blue suit and some other garments.

The man was then told that a child named Guinstina Macari had been murdered on 17 May 1941 at Fforestfach and he was asked to give a detailed account of his movements on that day. His statement read:

'On this day, I got up at half past seven in the morning, and my wife and I had breakfast together. She works for the doctor in St Helens Road, Swansea, as a charwoman in the mornings. My wife left the house at about twenty-five-past eight to go to the doctors. After she left, I washed up the breakfast things, I put on my brown mixture suit, and got ready to do my Saturday shopping. I was ready at 9.30am., and I was wearing also my brown hat and had a collar and tie on, and black shoes. I went to a greengrocer's shop at 32 St Helens Road, I should say No. 33 and bought some potatoes and cabbages, that is, 5lbs of potatoes and 1 1/2lb of cabbages. This shop is kept by a Jew, I don't know his name. A Jewess aged about 18 years to 19 years of age served me. I paid 1/1 1/2 for the potatoes and cabbages. This would be about 9.45am and I went straight home. I stopped in the house about five minutes, and then walked up to the Library in Alexandra Road, and looked at all the daily newspapers, and I remained there for half-an-hour. On leaving the Library, I went to Eastman's, the butcher in High Street. My wife and I are registered with him. I bought a round piece of beef and I paid 2/5 1/2 for it. The manager or the girl served me, they know me well.

I then went over to the tobacconists, nearly opposite the butchers, and bought a double packet of Woodbine cigarettes. The woman served me, and there were six or seven people in the shop. It was getting on for 11 o'clock then. I went into Woolworths in High Street, to see if I could get any sweets or biscuits. I couldn't get any, and I went to the market over the bus station in Singleton Street. There are only two stalls in the market which sell sweets, and I bought a quarter of a pound of mixed boiled sweets at one of the stalls, which is kept by an old man aged between 50 and 60 years. He served me and I paid 5d for the sweets, which were like pear drops in shape, of course, some of them were round. They were served in a white triangular bag.

I then entered the British Home Stores in Oxford Street to see if I could get some biscuits, but they didn't have any. After this, I walked along Oxford Street, past the upper end of Dillwyn Street, over St Helens Road into Nicholl Street. I got home about ten minutes to twelve. My wife had not come home from work. I put the dinner things on the table, and my wife came home about 12.20pm. As soon as she came in, I said to her, 'We'll have some sausages for dinner, I'll go to Brynymor Road to get them', and I left the house, and bought a pound of beef sausages at the butcher's shop at No. 2 Brynymor Road. The shop is owned by a lady, and she served me. I paid 8d for the sausages, and I went straight home, arriving there at about 12.40pm. I believe the lady in the shop knows me. My wife cooked the sausages, and we had bread and tea with them. I put the one o'clock news on, and after dinner I helped my wife wash up. I turned the wireless off after the news and had a look at the Radio Times for the following week. I bought it on the Friday, the day before. About 2pm I put on the wireless again and toned it down. I should say that whilst the sausages were being cooked, I changed into my old blue serge suit, which I wear about the house. After I turned on the wireless at 2pm I went to lay down on the sofa in the kitchen and went to sleep. I awoke at 4pm and I listened to a football match which was being broadcast on the Forces Programme at 4.15pm. It was a soccer match that was being broadcast, and I think it was between England and Scotland. My wife was in the house all the time, and at 5pm she prepared tea.

When I got up from the sofa, I put on my old black shoes, which are worn at the heel. At 6pm I put on the wireless to hear the news, and while the announcements and football results were being given, I changed into the brown suit, which I had been wearing in the morning. At 6.30pm my wife and I left the house, and we walked down St Helens Road and Brynymor Road, and looked at the advertisements, as we were looking for rooms to let. We walked along slowly towards Westbury Street and then home. I didn't see anybody I knew, and we arrived home at 8.10pm. I put the wireless on and listened to the Music Hall Programme. I think it was the first Saturday this programme was on. I didn't go out again, and my wife and I went to bed at 11pm. Before we went into bed, my wife and I had a sweet each, that is the ones I had bought in the morning. I got up on the Sunday morning at 8.20am and didn't go out all day. I had my blue suit on, I always wear it indoors.

I remember now that my wife and I spoke to the young girl who lives next door, when we went out. We talked about her cat, and about the two we have in our house.

The sweets I bought on Saturday morning 17 May, we finished up on the Thursday following.

I have been in Swansea four years in September. I have never been in the Fforestfach district. I am positive of this. In fact, I don't know my way up there. The furthest I've been to since I came to Swansea, is to Landore, to visit my brother-in-law, at 183 Pentretrehearne Road.

I have been working as a temporary postman at the General Post Office, Swansea. I started there a week last Monday, on the 19 May, but I was put off for no reason at all, yesterday 30 May. I have been employed casually by the Post Office for the last four Christmases, and as a result I have got to know the Sketty district fairly well. I haven’t been delivering letters in the Fforestfach district.

I have a light blue and brown coloured scarf with orange stripes across. I have had it for a number of years. I only wear it in the winter months when it is cold. Last Monday, 26 May, I noticed that my scarf was hanging on a rail drying in the kitchen. I hadn't worn it since March and kept it in the portmanteau in the bedroom. I said to my wife when I saw it on the rail, 'What did you want to wash it for, it was clean'. She said, 'I wanted to wash it to put all the winter stuff clean together'. She ironed this scarf last Thursday.

I've got a very light grey coloured cap which has some grease on the back. I wear it in the house, and as it was getting dirty, I washed it just before last Christmas, and wore it when I worked at Christmas time at the Post Office.

I generally get my hair cut every ten weeks or three months. I had it cut yesterday at a barber's shop at the corner of Mariner Street. An old man keeps the shop and when he cut my hair, I paid him 8d. The last time I had my hair cut before this was three weeks before Easter. I read about the murder of a young child named Macari in the evening papers on Monday 19 May. The account of her death stated that she was the daughter of an Italian who has a fish shop, and I have been in there to get fish and chips. This shop has only been open, I think ten weeks, and I went into the shop a week after it was opened. I didn't know the little girl that had been murdered.

My wife has three sisters in Swansea. One of them lives at 56 Elphin Crescent, Townhill, and she has a single sister living with her. The other sister lives at No. 9 Bryncoed Terrace, Peniel Green Llansamlet.

I have only done casual work since I came to Swansea, and most of the time I have been unemployed. Up to the time I started with the Post Office on the 19 May, I was getting 30/- from the Public Assistance Department, that was in respect of myself and wife. I drew this every Wednesday afternoon, and I reported to the Labour Exchange on Monday mornings between 11am and 11.15am'.

Whilst the man had been making his statement his wife came to the police station and also made a statement. In her statement she said that they had been married for about four years. She said that she got home from work on 17 May 1941 at 12.30pm and found her husband at home wearing his old blue serge suit. She said that he had put the dinner things on the table and was cooking a saucepan of potatoes on the fire and for dinner they had potatoes, bread and butter and a cup of tea. It was noted that she made no mention of her husband going out to buy sausages which he stated they had had for dinner.

Regarding the wireless, she said that her husband put the wireless on to hear the one o'clock news only and did not have it on after that.

When she was questioned about her husband buying some sweets she said that he hadn't bought any for two or three months.

She also said that her husband did not buy the meat on the 17 May but that she went to Eastman’s in the High Street in the afternoon and bought a round of beef for which she paid 1/6d.

The man's wife said that she remembered Saturday 17 May very well as it was a beautiful day and that because of that she remembered well what happened on that day.

When she finished her statement, it was noted that she could not sign it as she could not read or write. She then left with her husband at about 7.30pm.

The police report noted that the man's wife apparently had a cleft palate and that as a result it was very difficult to understand her. The report also noted that she was of a low grade mentally.

After taking their statements, the police made enquiries at Eastman’s, the butchers, of High Street, Swansea and Puddicombes, the butchers of 99 Brynymore Road, Swansea with a view to obtaining some confirmation or otherwise of the man's statement, but found that at both shops, although well-staffed, they were not able to obtain any information one way or the other. However, the police said that they later learnt that the man had called at Puddicombes and had asked them to remember him buying sausages there at about 1pm on 17 May 1941.

The police said that they then spoke to the man's neighbour at 21 Nicholl Street regarding the claim in his statement that he had spoken to her at 7pm as he and his wife left their house about her cat. However, the woman said that she did not speak to him on that day and said that in fact she had only spoken to him for the first time a week previously.

However, on 2 June 1941, the police called at 8 Dillwyn Street to see Guinstina Macari's father and found out that the 15-year-old girl that had seen Guinstina Macari walking up Mount Pleasent with the man had returned to work. They also found out that the man that they later tried had gone to the fish restaurant on the evening of 31 May 1941, apparently immediately after leaving the police station to tell Guinstina Macari's father that he had been detained in connection with the murder of his daughter, and claimed that he knew nothing about it. However, when the police spoke to the 15-year-old girl that had seen Guinstina Macari going off with the man in the first instance, she told them that the man they had just interrogated about the murder had come in to see Guinstina Macari's father to say that he had been detained in relation to his daughters murder but that he was not involved. She then told them that that man was not the man that she had seen walking off with Guinstina Macari. As a result of that the police said that they ruled the man out of their enquiries.

It was noted that the police had retained the man's blue serge suit, cap, a muffler, and an old pair of shoes and as such, on the following day, 3 June 1941, they gave instructions that his clothing could be returned to him.

However, on the evening of 5 June 1941, the 60-year-old woman from Walter Road went to the police station and said that she had seen the man that she had previously seen with the child in Dillwyn Street on 17 May 1941. She said that she was looking out of the back of her house that overlooked a lane and recognised the man standing there. She said that she ran out of her house and had a look to be certain. The police stated that at that time they had another man in mind for the murder who had three convictions for indecent assaults on females and they showed the 60-year-old woman 15 photographs with his photograph being one of them to see if she could identify the man that she had recognised. However, they noted that they included the photograph of the previous suspect who they had discounted, but the woman picked him out instead. When they questioned her further, the woman stated that when she had gone down into the lane at the back of her house to see the man, the man was joined by a short woman and they found that from her description of the woman, there was no doubt that the woman was the first suspects wife.

Around the same time during the afternoon of 5 June 1941 as a result of information, the police went to see a man that lived in The Crescent, Mynyddnewydd Road. The man was employed as a First Aid Attendant by the Magnesium Metal Corporation Ltd in Swansea. He had previously been a police constable with the Swansea Borough Police Force but had been dismissed about 12 years earlier for misconduct in relation to drink. However, it was said that he had considered his dismissal an injustice and as a result had no friendly feelings towards the Swansea Police. However, it was found that he had said that he had information which would likely be of some help in the case, but the ex-policeman said that he didn't want to make any statement or to be dragged into the affair at all.

However, the ex-policeman eventually revealed that he knew Guinstina Macarias he had often been to the fish restaurant for a meal and had spoken to her. He said that on 17 May 1941 he had gone with his wife and daughter to Swansea to do some shopping and that at about 3.35pm they had got onto an 83 bus at High Street, Swansea to go home. He said that his wife and daughter sat on one of the lower deck seats in front whilst he sat in a corner just by the platform on the left-hand side. He said that the bus stopped outside the Swan public house at the junction of Matthew Street and Carmarthen Road and a number of passengers got on, the last of the party being a child and a man. He said that he looked particularly at the child because he knew her, but he could not remember then where he had seen her or who she was. He said that the man lifted the child on to the platform of the bus and then lifted her again on to the second step of the stairs leading to the upper deck. He said that he heard the man say something to the child, but that he didn't catch what it was. He said that as he thought he knew the child he had a good look at the man who he said lifted the child practically up the whole of the stairs.

The ex-policeman said that he stayed on the bus until it reached the terminus of Ravenhill Middle Road. He said that there were quite a number of stops on the way but said that he didn't see the man and child get off. He said that on arrival at the terminus, which was at about 3.50pm, along with his wife and daughter, he was among the first to get off and said that they went straight home, which was a walk of about ten minutes, and did not look around after getting off the bus.

The ex-policeman said that he read about the murder on 20 May 1941 and that it then suddenly came to him that the child he had seen on the bus was Guinstina Macari who he had often seen running about in the fish restaurant.

He also said that he had seen the man somewhere before in Swansea and described him as about 38 to 40 years of age. He said that as he was sitting down, he could not estimate with any degree of certainty the man's height but thought that he was about 4ft 6in, and said that the man had a dark complexion, Spanish in type but with no colour in his face. He said that he had a very thin face with high cheekbones and sunken cheeks and looked as though he had been suffering from malaria or some other fever. He said that the man had a prominent nose, black eyes with heavy eyebrows and needed a hair-cut badly as his hair was hanging over his ears and the back of his head. He said that the man had a slight build, was about 34 inches round the chest and had been dressed in dark clothing. He said that he thought that his shoes were brown but that they had been blacked over, but said he did notice particularly that rubbers had been fitted on to badly worn heels. He said that the man struck him as a ship's fireman type, slovenly dressed and said that his clothes looked as though he had been lying about in them.

The police report noted that they had to be tactful to get that information out of the ex-policeman but said that after leaving him alone, they later sent a sergeant up to see him on 6 June 1941 and were able to get a statement from him embodying all that he had said. When the sergeant returned on 6 June 1941 and took the statement from the ex-policeman, they also took a number of photographs and said that the ex-policeman picked out the first suspect without hesitation.

Also, on 6 June 1941, the police received Guinstina Macari's clothes back and then obtained a child's model from a local ladies and children's outfitters and dressed it with the child's clothing. Then, the following day they invited the people that said that they had seen Guinstina Macari with the man at the various locations to the Central Police Station to see the model and they all respectively identified the clothing as that of the child that they had seen on 17 May 1941. They were all also shown and identified a photograph of Guinstina Macari.

It was noted that the 60-year-old woman was the first to see the model and when she saw it she corrected the pinafore that the detective had put on it and it was later found after speaking to Guinstina Macari's mother that the 60-year-old woman had fixed the pinafore correctly.

As such, the police stated that in the light of what the ex-policeman had told them they concentrated all their efforts on the first suspect again. They then made house-to-house enquiries along Nicholl Street, which it was noted one end of which was only a matter of about 50 yards from the YMCA where the 60-year-old woman said she had seen Guinstina Macari and the man, to see if anybody had seen the man walking along Nicholl Street on 17 May 1941 with a child. They said that they made similar enquiries along streets that led from Mount Pleasant to the bus stop where the ex-policeman said he saw Guinstina Macari and the man get on the bus.

At about 9am on 7 June 1941, the police went back to see the man at his home at 20 Nicholl Street and asked him to come along to the police station as they wanted to interrogate him further. Whilst there, they searched his house again and took possession of his blue suit that had been earlier returned to him, a blue and brown scarf, a white scarf, a cap, a pair of old black shoes, a brown mixture overcoat and a belt.

The police said that whilst they were at his address, a woman who was employed as a temporary investigating clerk at the Assistance Board called respecting the man's application for unemployment benefit. The police report noted that after the woman finished questioning the man she came out and spoke to a detective and said that whilst questioning the man he had said to her, 'I am under suspicion of murder but I'm practically innocent'. She added that she knew about the Guinstina Macari murder and said that her reaction to the man's words 'practically innocent' had made her nervous and glad to leave.

When the man made his second statement he said,

'I was living in Sebastopol in 1912, that was at 22 Clifton Place, and was working at Baldwins Sheet Mills, Panteg, near Pontypool. Pontypool is about two miles from Sebastopol. In December, 1913, I joined the Monmouthshire Artillery which was later known as the 4th Welsh. I was discharged from the Army as unfit in November 1914. In January 1915, on the 25th of the month, I joined the 2nd Monmouthshire Regiment and was demobilised on the 24th December 1919. Whilst in the Army I saw service in France. Since leaving the Army until I came to Swansea, I lived in Cardiff, Cheltenham, and Newport. I came to Swansea four years in September and lived at 43 Port Tennant Road. I was there about three weeks and then went to live at 16 Tyrgwyl Terrace, Foxhill Road, St Thomas. I was there for nine months. After that I shifted to No. 13 Montpelier Terrace, but left there after about a month. I then went to 10 Argyle Street where I remained for about two years and three months. I next went to 20 Nicholl Street, that was on the last day of October last year. I married when I was living at 43 Port Tennant Road, that was on the 29th December 1937. The landlord of this house is a woman who lives at Grosvenor House, Mirador Crescent, Uplands. A woman was the tenant of the house and she sub-lets us two unfurnished rooms. The woman left the house because it was bombed, and the landlady would not repair it. I suffer badly from rheumatism in the knee, the left knee is the worst. This has been brought about by being in France and at times I can hardly walk. I never wear pants, but I wear lady's stockings which reach up to beyond the knee. I have been wearing lady's stockings for years. I get bad headaches in the head and I have had them all this week. I am incapable of having intercourse. My wife is 46 years of age and she is not sexually inclined. I have never had intercourse with her. The last time I had connections with a woman was before I married my wife.

When I lived in Newport, I didn't have a permanent address except when I lived at Sebastopol which is 6 1/2 miles from Newport. I was born at Sebastopol in Monmouthshire. I know Cardiff pretty well. I have never been to Whitchurch, but I know it is two or three miles outside Cardiff. I have never worked at Whitchurch or Cardiff. I have a brown mixture overcoat but the last time I wore it was last Christmas. It has a belt and when I used to wear it, I had the belt on. I am definite I have not worn it since Christmas. I've got a blue Melton overcoat, and this is the one I wear when it is cold or wet.

Last Saturday night, that is a week today, (31 May) after leaving the Police station, I went to the Fish Restaurant in Dillwyn Street with my wife. This is the one where the little girl is supposed to have lived at, I mean the girl who was murdered. I have been to this Fish Restaurant before, that was about seven or eight weeks ago. When I went in last Saturday night, I asked for the woman who owned the shop and I saw her and her husband and two young women who I thought were their daughters. I said, 'I've come to let you know that I was pulled in by the Police this morning for eight hours for your child. I am innocent and know nothing about it', and I sympathised with them in the loss of their child. The mother of the child said she sympathised with me and she said the child is gone now and she has nothing to worry about. After that my wife and I had a cup of tea each. After that I went to Puddicombe's, the butchers in Brynymor Road, and I told her, 'I believe the Police have been here enquiring about me', and she said, 'Yes'. I told her I had been detained in connection with the murder of the child in Dillwyn Street. She didn't say anything then. The man and the woman who own the shop and their daughter were the persons I was speaking to. I said to the woman, 'The Police told me that you could not identify me as buying the sausages from you on that Saturday'. She said, 'It is impossible to remember you as there are so many people in the shop on Saturday. I know you have sausages occasionally'. I then left'.

The man was then questioned by a detective inspector.

Q. Do you know where the slaughterhouse is?

A. Yes, in Dyfatty Street.

Q. When did you go by the slaughterhouse last?

A. Last Wednesday week.

Q. What is on the right hand side going up Dyfatty Street, on the opposite side to the slaughterhouse?

A. A little Park where the children play on swings.

Q. Have you ever been in that Park?

A. Never in my life.

The man continued his statement,

'I have never delivered letters in Fforestfach, but I have delivered letters at Manselton. I don't know how far Manselton is from Fforestfach because I don't know where Fforestfach is.

I remember last Saturday, 31st May 1941, when I was at Swansea Police Station. When I was told by the Chief Inspector to wait in the passageway, I thought he meant that I could go, and I walked out of the Police Station. I went straight to the doctors where my wife works but found that she had gone. I then walked home and saw my wife indoors. I said to her, 'I've been pulled in in connection with that murder case'. I didn't tell her anymore, but she was upset and crying. About five minutes after I had been in the house, I heard a knock at the door. I suspected that it was the police and I climbed over the garden wall onto the roof of a garage and then into a yard and out through a tiny lane at the side of the garage to go and do some shopping. I went to Puddicombe's shop and several shops to try and get sausages and I returned to the house. I left the house without a hat and when I came back, I entered by the front door with a Yale key. Almost immediately I heard a knock at the door, and I rushed out of the house by the back over the wall in the same way as I had done the first time. In a tiny passage at the side of the garage I was stopped by a police officer and taken back to the house'.

The man was then allowed to leave after he finished making the second statement at 11.55am.

The police report noted that a hair dresser that lived at 1 Mariner Street in Swansea said that the man came to him on 28 or 30 May 1941 for a hair-cut and said that when he did so his hair had about two months growth to it, saying that it was long and straight at the back and overlapping on the collar of his coat.

An Acting Relieving Officer said that he knew the man well and said that whenever the man called to draw his relief money, he was always dressed in a dirty fawn coloured trilby hat an a navy blue serge suit. He said that he last saw the main suspect at the 'pay-station' on the 14 May 1941 at which time he was dressed in the blue suit and hat. He added that he had also previously seen the man wearing a muffler. The police report noted that the man only had one blue suit and noted further that the man told them that he never wore it out of the house.

The police said that they made enquiries in London with the BBC to ascertain what football programmes were broadcast on 17 May 1941 and were told that between 4pm and 4.45pm that there was a commentary broadcasted by the BBC on the Forces Programme from St James Park in Newcastle on a soccer match between The British Army and a Football Association XI. They said that the England versus Scotland soccer match took place at Glasgow on the 3rd May 1941 from where the commentary was broadcast on the Forces Programme.

The police said that further enquiries were made at the Swansea Post Office and it was found that the man had been employed as a temporary postman during the Christmas rush periods of 1938, 1939 and 1940, but they said that his beats covered during those periods were Brynmill and Sketty and that he had never been near the Fforestfach area.

On 10 June 1941, samples of soil and leaf mould were taken from the plantation where Guinstina Macari's body was found and on 11 June 1941 the remainder of the man’s clothing were taken from him and on 12 June the items were all delivered to the West Midland Forensic Science Laboratory where it was handed to the Staff Biologist for examination. Guinstina Macari's clothing was then also dispatched to the laboratory on 13 June 1941.

Around the same time, results were returned on the paper samples found in Guinstina Macari's stomach which had been analysed in respect to 250 bags sent to the laboratory but the results were of no assistance.

Similar results were returned from the analysis of Guinstina Macari's stomach contents and samples of chocolate that were also forwarded for analysis.

When the results from the analysis of the man's clothes was returned, they were found to have had no soil or leaf mould of any kind on them. However, the analysts did find on the right shoe of a pair of black shoes with rubber heals a small sample of soil like matter that was found to consist almost entirely of cow or pig dung. However, it was not possible to say which or to narrow down whether it came from any particular field and was not thought to have any value in the case.

However, on the outside of the man’s overcoat the analysts found a small bunch of fibres that consisted of a mixture of white and light blue cotton. The blue cotton was found to be identical in colour and microscopical appearance with the cotton of which Guinstina Macari's frock was made and both agreed in being decolourized by hot (70degC) glycerine jelly. It was noted that there was no white cotton in the cloth composing Guinstina Macari's frock, but that on the inside especially near the bottom there were a number of bunches of fibres composed of white cotton mixed with the blue cotton of the frock. It was thought that the white cotton could have come from her undergarments.

Also, from the brown mixture overcoat that they had taken from the man they found four human head hairs, three of which agreed in colour with and were microscopically indistinguishable from the hairs on the head of Guinstina Macari.  The positions of the hairs on the man’s overcoat were detailed as being:

  • Left shoulder.
  • Around the lowest front button.
  • At the opening of the left sleeve, partly on the outside of the coat and partly in the sleeve.

On 27 June 1941 it was decided to put the man back up for identification and they went back to his house at 20 Nicholl Street where they said to him, 'From enquiries that have been made into the murder of a child named Guinstina Benedetta Macari on 17th May 1941, you answer the description of a man seen in her company on that date, and we are putting you up for identification', to which the man replied, 'I am an innocent man'.

The man was then taken to Swansea Central Police Station and it was reported that during the journey he had to be restrained and that he was violent and used foul and threatening language.

At 3.10pm he was put up for identification along with ten other men, with the man being fourth from the right.

The 60-year-old woman walked along the line and picked the man out saying, 'This is the man'.

The men then changed their positions with the man taking up a new position fifth from the right and the bootmaker walked along the line of men and then walked along the rear and stopped at the main suspect and asked him to walk about 10 yards which he did before taking his position up again in line. The bootmaker then went along the front of the men again and picked out the main suspect. The man then immediately attempted to strike the bootmaker, but a police sergeant pulled the man back and the blow missed. The man then said, 'You fucking liar. I am not the man, I was in the house at 1pm'.  He then tried to strike the bootmaker again but was prevented from doing so. He then shouted out a number of obscene expressions, one of which was, 'I'll go for any fucking bastard who picks me out'.

After about a minute, order was restored again, and the man took up his position fifth from the right. The man from 57 Mount Pleasant who had seen a man and child on the bench opposite his house whilst he was looking at his onions then walked along the line and picked out the main suspect who then aimed a blow at him and said, 'I'll bash you, you bastard. My brother-in-law will get you'. It was noted that there was a further struggle and a flow of obscene vituperation and that after order was restored the man again broke from the line and ran after the man from 57 Mount Pleasant as he was leaving the yard.

However, the line was restored again and the man stood seventh from the right and woman from 60 Inkerman Street who had sold the chocolate macaroons to a man walked up and down but she was unable to pick anyone out.

The man then took up a position seventh from the right and the ex-policeman walked along the line and picked out the suspect who then immediately struck out at him and said, 'You are a bloody liar. I am an innocent man'. Another unruly scene followed in which the suspect abused not only the police and witnesses but also the other men in the identity parade with disgusting obscene expressions. The man's solicitor then spoke to him and the man then broke from the line and ran at the ex-policeman as he was leaving the yard.

When the farm labourer walked up and down the identity parade, he was unable to pick anyone out. It was noted that he had earlier picked out the tramp at a previous identity parade.

The seventh witness was the farm bailiff and after walking along the line and asking all the men in turn to walk down the yard with their hands in their pockets in a semi-slouch he failed to pick anyone out. It was similarly noted that he had also picked out the tramp at an earlier identity parade.

The 65-year-old fire-spotter then walked along the line, but he was unable to identify anyone.

The man was then cautioned and charged with the murder of Guinstina Macari and he replied, 'How can you charge an innocent man'. He then took up a violent attitude again and as he would not calm down, he was taken to a cell.

After the identification parade, the farm bailiff said that he thought that they had got the right man, saying that he had had his eye on the main suspect but thought that it was of no use picking him out after he had picked out the wrong man earlier.

It was noted that the 15-year-old girl and her 13-year-old brother that were the first to see Guinstina Macari with the man were invited to the identification parade but didn't show up. When they were found they said that they had slept the night in an air-raid shelter and had not come to the police station as they said that they would not know the man after all the time that had passed.

When the police drew up their theory on what happened they said that they thought that the route taken by the man from Billwyn Street to the plantation could be pieced together from the various witness statements as follows:

First, the 60-year-old woman saw the man speaking to a child at about 12.40pm in Dillwyn Street and again at 1pm coming with the child from Lovell's Cafe in St Helens Road at the top of Dillwyn Street and crossing the road towards the YMCA. It was then said that they had gone along Page Street at the side of the YMCA into Walters Road and to his house at 20 Nicholl Street where he discarded his overcoat. The police said that they were unable to find anyone in Nicholl Street who saw him with Guinstina Macari but it was noted that his house was only 50 yards from Walters Road which was a main thoroughfare and it was noted that Page Street would have been crowded on the Saturday by shoppers going to the market, and as such it could be understood that nobody particularly noticed them.

It was said then that from his house the man and Guinstina Macari would have gone back along Walters Road to Mount Pleasant where he was seen with Guinstina Macari at about 1.15pm by the bootmaker walking up the hill. It was thought that they had then sat on the bench until after 2pm when they were seen by the man at 57 Mount Pleasant from his garden.

It was suggested that they then went to the top of Mount Pleasant and turned right into Bryn Syfi Terrace and up to North Hill Road and then along to Dyfatty Street. It was said that they then turned into Dyfatty Park where there was a children's playground and it was thought possible that they then stayed there for about an hour. It was thought that they could have then come out of the park by the gate leading into Croft Street which was almost on the Carmarthen Road or by the gate in Dyfatty Street and then down Mathew Street at the bottom of which was the bus stop where the ex-policeman had seen them getting on the bus.

The police report noted that there was no doubt that they could rely on the ex-policeman's statement that they did not get off the bus before the terminus at Ravenhill, Middle Road.

The police report stated next that there was no doubt that both the farm bailiff and the farm labourer next saw them on the Mynyddnewydd Road at a spot a little over half a mile from the bus terminus. The report stated that neither of the farm workers were definite about their times, but that if they accepted that it was around 4pm, bearing in mind that the bus had reached the terminus at 3.48pm which allowed twelve minutes for the half-mile distance to be covered, that that would be a good approximation.

The police report stated that from there they could only conjecture but suggested that they then went beyond Pemplas Farm and on to a disused road that led towards the direction of Blaen-y-maes arm and then left the road at some point and went across the fields of Blaen-y-maes Farm to the plantation.

The police theory stated that it was not thought that Guinstina Macari was killed where she was found but suggested that she was probably killed in a field bordering the plantation and that her body was then carried into the undergrowth and then thrown down, a theory which was supported by the finding of the right shoe on the rhododendron branch four yards away.

It was noted that the distance from where the farm workers had seen the man and child to the place where Guinstina Macari was found as a direct line was half a mile.

The police report noted that the country surrounding the spot consisted of arable land and that apart from men working on the fields, one did not see many people and as such every effort was made to trace anyone that might have seen the man coming away after the murder but without success.

At the man's trial, his defence was one of alibi, and it was reported that it succeeded. It was also noted that five people had picked him out but that five people could not pick him out as the man they had seen with Guinstina Macari.

He was acquitted before the jury heard all the evidence for the defence. After some evidence for the defence was heard, the judge asked the jury whether they had heard sufficient, and the foreman, after consultation with his colleagues, said that they did not want to hear any more of the case and the trial was stopped and they returned an not guilty verdict.


*map pointers are rough estimates based on known location details as per Place field above.


see Daily Mirror - Monday 30 June 1941

see Evening Despatch - Saturday 28 June 1941

see Derby Daily Telegraph - Saturday 28 June 1941

see Gloucester Citizen - Friday 21 November 1941

see National Archives - DPP 2/866